Grandfather And Granddaughter Drowned As He Tried To Save Her From 10ft Waves

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Grandfather and granddaughter drowned as he tried to save her from 10ft waves

A grandfather drowned along with his young granddaughter after running into the sea to save her after a wave swept her from a beach on their Portuguese holiday, an inquest heard.

Five-year-old Lara Lewis was swept away by 10ft waves as she played in the sand near Nazare, 80 miles north of Lisbon.

Her grandfather, Brian O'Dwyer, 66, also died after diving into the fierce waves off Praia do Salgados beach during the family holiday last summer.

North London coroner's court heard that Mr O'Dywer's wife, Jill, had tried to rescue the girl but could only watch in horror with their four-year-old grandson as the pair were consumed by the waves.

Lara, whose family are from Lower Clapton, east London, died despite the efforts of her relations, local fishermen and lifeguards, who spent almost an hour trying to resuscitate her.

Mrs O'Dwyer, who was treated for shock after fainting, initially believed her grandson had also been swept into the sea.

Lara's parents, Philip and Sian Lewis were also on holiday but were further along the beach on the Portuguese west coast.

The inquests into their deaths were told the O'Dwyers and their grandchildren were almost 450 yards outside the cordoned off safe swimming area on August 21 last year.

The little girl had been playing with seashells when she suddenly dashed into the 'rough' seas where she was 'taken by the water'.

Mr O'Dwer raced into the waves but was unable to reach her and 'got into difficulties himself'.

Coroner Andrew Walker recorded that both Mr O'Dwyer and Lara died as a result of an accident.

"A short time after 13.30 hours, Brian Gillespie O'Dwyer went into the sea to rescue his granddaughter who had run into the sea, where he drowned', he said.

"Lara Lewis was drowned having run into the sea, and I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that she died as a result of an accident."

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